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Oops...Three in five Brits are losing faith in democracy and only the Russians have less trust in their society

Trust is at a very low ebb in the UK according the latest Trust Barometer from PR firm Edelman, its 20th study of trust in business, government, NGOs and media. 

Britain is at its lowest ever position in the global table, only Russia is a less trusting society. 

Three in five Brits says they are losing faith in democracy and over half believe that capitalism does more harm than good.

Uncertain future

Talking about why Britain has such low trust and what can be done to rebuild it, Louise Turner, managing director of Edelman Intelligence UK and Ireland, says: “What’s driving low trust? Uncertainty about the future of the UK. Fears of job loss because of the gig economy. Concerns that our politicians are making things worse. We think we’re divided on the key issues facing the country today, but in truth, there is more common consensus about what’s important to us than we think. Partnership between all our UK institutions – but particularly business and government – will be critical to building trust.”

Key findings

  • 53% of people think that capitalism does more harm than good in the world
  • The NHS (85%), tackling crime (84%), improving the standard of living (80%) – are concerns shared by all demographics in society
  • Increasingly Brits think the country is on the right track, and 4 in 5 agree on the priorities for reform
  • 61% say people are divided on the key issues facing the UK today
  • 49% are unsatisfied with the progress on tackling crime and progress on improving healthcare quality and accessibility
  • 72% believe government does not understand emerging technologies enough to regulate them effectively
  • Three-quarters of Brits fear losing their jobs: fears include the gig-economy, automation and globalisation
  • 45% feel their views are not represented in British politics
  • 62% of employees would like the opportunity to shape the future of society.


The 20th annual Trust Barometer surveyed more than 34,000 respondents in 20 markets.

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